Bolebec Farm moated enclosure, associated platforms and enclosures


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010970

Date first listed: 08-Mar-1991


Ordnance survey map of Bolebec Farm moated enclosure, associated platforms and enclosures
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Central Bedfordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Maulden

National Grid Reference: TL 05357 38832

Reasons for Designation

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches, often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

This site is a fine example of a small Bedfordshire rectangular moated enclosure. The importance of the site is further enhanced by the occurrence of adjacent enclosures and cultivation earthworks which provide a contemporary setting far the monument.

The site of the scheduled monument is shown outlined in black and highlighted in red on the attached "Scheduled Monument" map extract and includes a 2m boundary around the archaeological features, on all but the southern boundary of the site, which is considered essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The monument includes the remains of a moat and its associated platforms and enclosures. The moated enclosure is rectangular in shape measuring about 40m east-west by 50m north-south including the surrounding 10m wide moat. The island is raised about 1.5m above the surrounding area. The surface is flat with no visible evidence for internal buildings or other features. The ditch is currently dry but is believed to have once contained water which drained into a wide leat at the south-east corner. Associated with the moated site are a series of platforms and enclosures including a 50m square platform adjacent to the south side of the moat. Additional ditches, scarps and enclosures are located around the moated enclosure but mainly downslope to its south. These outer earthworks are considered to be subsidiary manorial enclosures contemporary with the Medieval occupation of the site.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 11537

Legacy System: RSM


Coleman, S, Watching brief on drainage trenching at Bolebec Farm Maulden, 1980, SMR ref 13
SMR record, Simco, A, Maulden, Bolebec Farm, (1979)
UK/2097-3222-3, RAF (1947) UK/2097-3222-3, (1947)

End of official listing